I began writing my first Young Adult novel (my second fiction book) in the summer of 2017.
In August 2018, I finished the first draft.
The biggest problem? It was literally almost 140,000 words — long for even a sci-fi novel, let alone an upper-YA book that isn’t even in the sci-fi/fantasy realm.
I hired an editor, and then had another one (and my husband) critique it, went to a publishing conference, and whittled it down to 92,000 words.
It’s “done,” but I’m still fine-tuning it, and am in the process of pitching and querying it now.
These photos are from the day I finished that first draft, though. It’s such a proud moment when you realize you’ve created something substantial, something beautiful, and something imperfect but YOURS, that you are ready to launch out into the world!
I can’t wait to see what the future holds, and hope that my latest book will see the light of day. In the meantime, I’ll keep tweaking it, keep submitting it … oh, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll start on one of my many other book ideas, too!
BY THE WAY: Thank you all for supporting my writing career for so long. I began writing in elementary school, and started freelancing right out of high school where, naturally, I was on the yearbook and newspaper staffs. In college, I was an editor at the paper, interviewed music artists and bands, reviewed movies and albums, and wrote song lyrics and poetry. I was published in the Eyerie Magazine and the Tobeco Literary Journal. I transferred from Clarion to the University of Pittsburgh and wrote for IN Community magazines. I worked on-air at a radio station at night, while proofreading and writing copy at an ad agency and taking English literature, Communications, and English writing classes at PITT during the day.
After college, you all supported me as I wrote for magazines like FLIP, Manic, Moves, Inspiring Lives, and Lux. You’ve read my Arthritis Foundation blog and the freelancing work I’ve done (and continue to do) for Healthline. You’ve read my work on HuffPo, and you’ve watched as the United Nations tweeted one of my medical news articles.
Then, when I self-published and worked with a hybrid boutique publishing agency on my first few books, you bought them and read them, reviewed them and cheered me on.
I am hopeful that the next step in my journey will include a move towards traditional mainstream publishing. Maybe it’ll be with a big publisher, maybe not — but regardless, I’ll be thrilled to have my next book(s) in the hands of all of you who have supported me, followed me, and read my work throughout the years.
It may sound trite, but I am ever-grateful. So thank you all, now and always.